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The Film Experience™ was created by Nathaniel R. Gemini, Cinephile, Actressexual. All material herein is written and copyrighted by Nathaniel or a member of our team as noted.


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SAG SCREENING REACTIONS - Bombshell, Little Women

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REVIEW - Last Christmas

"Just saw a 7:00pm Thursday night show in Los Angeles. As flawed/imperfect as the film is, its quite winning due in a large part to some heavy lifting by Emilia Clarke. She’s got a real Sandra Bullock/Julia Roberts star power on full display here.-HardyofHearing

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Directors (For Sama)
Lulu Wang (The Farewell)
Ritesh Batra (Photograph)
Schmidt & Abrantes (Diamantino)
Jia Zhang-ke (Ash is Purest White)

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Entries in Best Actor (282)


Podcast: The Irishman, Terminator Dark Fate, and Oscar Buzz

with Murtada Elfadl & Nathaniel R 

Index (60 minutes)
00:01 Murtada's New Fest jury duty
03:00 Martin Scorsese's The Irishman and why it should have been called I Heard You Paint Houses.  Thoughts on the running time, Thelma Schoonmaker's editing, the de-aging visuals, and the performances of Anna Paquin, Robert DeNiro, Joe Pesci, and Al Pacino. And a trend in 2019: directors revisiting their favourite themes reflectively this year: Scorsese, Almodóvar, and Tarantino
23:30 The Best Supporting Actor Oscar race: Pacino versus Brad Pitt? Plus tangents about Marriage Story, Ford V Ferrari, Dolemite is My Name, Just Mercy and Honey Boy
43:00 Best Actor and Best Director races and what The Irishman's true competition is
50:00 Terminator Dark Fate  and Harriet
57:45 The Best Actress race - is Cynthia in?

READ: A thoughtful positive review of Harriet from K Austin Collins
SHARE: Two tweets we mention...


 You can listen to the podcast here at the bottom of the post or download from iTunes. Continue the conversations in the comments, won't you? 


I Heard Scorsese Paints Houses


(You're Gonna) Love it Again - Rocketman!

by Nathaniel R

Kudos to Paramount to beating the Rocketman drums again with a screening and performance in Los Angeles yesterday. Early releases require this sort of care and attention from their home studios, come awards season. Rocketman emerged in the giant shadow of Bohemian Rhapsody this past May, and though it is vastly superior to the Queen picture in every way, shadows are shadows and sometimes they obscure the light...

Click to read more ...


Joker, Reviewed: An Empty Beauty Full of Anxious Laughter

Please welcome new contributor Michael Frank...

by Michael Frank

The circus around Joker has been exhausting. It’s been a nonstop argument between every single person that posts a positive or negative review, causing friction between subgroups you didn’t even know existed. I admit I found myself having trouble separating the discourse from the film itself. I couldn’t forget the unfortunate interviews given by director Todd Phillips. When I sat in the packed-to-the-brim theater, my head was filled with expectations, anxiety, and the dozens of headlines, articles, and think-pieces I’ve read over the past few weeks. 

I’ve never seen a film provide so much discourse outside the screen, yet feel this empty and broken once it's playing in the confines of a theater. Joker is gorgeous, though, and unrelenting in its violence and instability, by way of both the titular character and its striking visuals...

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NYFF Review: Pain and Glory

by Murtada Elfadl

Salvador Mallo, the director and lead character in Pain and Glory, tells one of his actors that holding back tears in emotional scenes instead of crying makes actors better. Yet Pedro Almodóvar, who wrote and directed and based this film partially on his life, does not. He goes deep, he explores honestly and elicits a deeply emotional and cathartic reaction. 

In this thesis on his life and his work, he finds the generous space to include many of his collaborators in front and behind the camera. On screen we have Antonio Banderas as Mallo, Cecilia Roth, from All About My Mother (1999), appears as an actress from Mallo’s past who’s eager to work with him again. And most poignantly Peneope Cruz, his muse of many years and movies, plays a version of his mother...

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Best Actor / Supporting Actor - Chart Updates!

by Nathaniel R

Netflix would like to have 80% of the BEST ACTOR field (Driver, Murphy, Pryce, DeNiro) but that will prove impossible.

The new predictions are in. Best Actor is more exciting and competitive than Best Actress this year which is a strange and unusual development... and we don't like it! We kid. The male actors deserve their moment in the sun occassionally, even if they're not as fun to shine light on. The strangest thing about the leading actor competition is, at least at the moment, Netflix literally appears to have about 1/3rd of the entire competitive field. But since their can be only 5, we think that this shotgun approach will only result in two nominees at best. Right now we're going with Adam Driver (who feels like the ultimate winner... though let's not pretend anything's locked up yet in late September) and Eddie Murphy (who could easily not happen given Netflix's other horses in the race).

As for Supporting Actor. It isn't that much different than Best Actor this year. This year has been fairly heavy with duet films for men (The Lighthouse, A Beautiful Day in the Neighborhood, Ford v Ferrari, The Last Black Man in San Francisco, Once Upon a Time in Hollywood, The Two Popes) so naturally a few of the co-leads will definitely block out supporting players for the coveted nominations. We're mostly giving the side-eye to Willem Dafoe. He's the most egregious category frauder this year since you can't be a supporting actor in a cast of two! (There are technically a few other actors that appear in The Lighthouse but they're non-speaking cameos. It's a duet film from start to finish). It's a shame that Dafoe is competing supporting because we think he'd still be competitive for a nomination in lead despite the strong year. The only traditional-sized supporting role that we think won't be hurt by the co-leads muscling in is Alan Alda's divorce attorney in Marriage Story. In some ways he's the film's most loveable character, and Alda has been nominated for less (The Aviator). At 83 he'll have sentiment on his side, too.